By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — Recently, 37 Marshfield Columbus Catholic students had their hair cut to honor former school principal Barb Billings and those who have or have had cancer. The donated hair will benefit the Pantene Beautiful Lengths real-hair wig program, which provides free wigs through the American Cancer Society Wig Bank.
Six of the donors clipped their hair in advance, and 31 students lined up in the high school gym May 4 to provide their donation in front of the student body. Haircutting was provided by 11 stylists that donated their time for the event.
Columbus English teacher Mandy Volkman said that this was the fourth year for the donation event.
“The first year we had 26 donors,” said Volkman. “People said, ‘I want to do it next year, Mrs. Volkman,’ so we started, and it has really taken off. Twenty-six was our lowest.
“The kids seem to feel that it is an important thing to do. … Not always the same gentleman, but three out of four years we have had a gentleman. It’s the international students too, students that are here for just a year. They still want to do it too because they do not have things like this in some of their countries.”
Foreign exchange student Nika Lukjan was excited to be a part of the event, stating this type of program does not exist in her home country of Poland.
“It feels really good,” said Lukjan. “I am OK with my decision. As long as they can do something with it to help the people who struggle with cancer, then I am more than happy to help. It’s hair. It will grow back.”
For more information on the free wig program, contact the American Cancer Society’s Wig Bank at 1-877-227-1596. To learn more about the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program, visit pantene.com.